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Mikita Badziakouski Wins WPT Big One For One Drop at Wynn Las Vegas

Belarusian Tournament Star Earns $7,114,500 For Taking Down The Million Dollar Buy-In Event


Mikita Badziakouski has won the first-ever WPT Big One For One Drop at Wynn Las Vegas. The 31-year-old poker pro from Belarus defeated an elite field of 17 entries in the $1,000,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em event to earn a career-best payday of $7,114,500.

This was Badziakouski’s 15th score of a million dollars or more, with four multi-million-dollar paydays earned along the way. Prior to this, his largest cash was a $5,255,077 win in a $2 million HKD ($254,000 USD) buy-in 2018 Triton Super High Roller Jeju tournament.

This latest victory increased Badziakouski’s career earnings to just shy of $53.3 million. As a result, he has moved into fifth place on poker’s all-time money list. He trails only Bryn Kenney ($65,366,406), Justin Bonomo ($65,233,900), Stephen Chidwick ($54,779,794), and Jason Koon ($54,649,145).

WPT Big One For One Drop champion Mikita Badziakouski“I feel great. The tournament itself is the biggest title I’ve ever had,” Badziakouski told WPT reporters after coming out on top. “I just got lucky in a couple of big coolers. That’s how it goes, one of the sides has to get lucky and that was me today.”

In addition to the title and the money, Badziakouski also earned 240 Card Player Player of the Year points for this huge victory. This was his second title and 10th final-table finish of the year. With 4,210 total points and nearly $12.2 million in to-date earnings, Badziakouski is now ranked 37th on the 2023 POY leaderboard presented by Global Poker.

There have now been six million-dollar buy-in poker tournaments held since the first Big One For One Drop ran at the 2012 WSOP. All but one have been associated with One Drop, the 2019 Triton Million for Charity. This latest seven-figure buy-in was the first run in conjunction with the World Poker Tour. With $60,000 from each buy-in earmarked for One Drop, the event raised seven figures for the foundation which will go towards the international non-profit organization’s stated mission to, ‘provide access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene communities facing extreme barriers.’

The tournament played out over the course of three days from Dec. 18-20. As one might expect, plenty of big names fell before the final day got underway, including ten-time bracelet winner Phil Ivey, two-time bracelet winner Chris Brewer, two-time POY award winner Stephen Chidwick, four-time bracelet winner Adrian Mateos, 2016 WSOP High Roller For One Drop champion Fedor Holz, and the aforementioned Koon, a bracelet winner and the all-time Triton Poker title leader.

The final day began with six players remaining and only four set to cash. Dan Smith held the lead to start with 61 big blinds. Two-time bracelet winner Nick Petrangelo and recent WSOP Europe €50,000 high roller champion Santhosh Suvarna were the two shortest stacks to start and ultimately ended up as the final two players eliminated outside of the money.

Nick Petrangelo talks to WPT reporter Drea Renee after bubblingPetrangelo managed a double-up through Smith during the first orbit to go from sixth to first on the leaderboard. Suvarna was the next to get involved in a big preflop confrontation, with his pocket threes racing against the A-K of Mario Mosbock. Suvarna remained ahead through the flop and turn, but an ace on the river saw him sent to the rail empty-handed.

That set up the seven-figure money bubble. A few hands after Suvarna was sent packing, Petrangelo shoved on Badziakouski in a battle of the blinds. Badziakouski, who was the short stack at the time, called with ADiamond Suit7Spade Suit and found himself up against JClub Suit8Heart Suit. Neither player connected with the low double-paired board and Badziakouski doubled up, leaving Petrangelo as the short stack once again.

Not long after that, Petrangelo got all-in with AClub SuitQDiamond Suit trailing the AHeart SuitKSpade Suit of Isaac Haxton. Both players flopped a pair of aces, and Haxton’s king kicker played to earn him the pot and the knockout.

Isaac HaxtonHaxton was out in front to start four-handed action, but quickly lost a couple of big pots to Mosbock to fall out of the lead. He eventually got the last of his stack in with AHeart SuitQHeart Suit racing against the 8Heart Suit8Club Suit of Badziakouski. The board ran out 5Spade Suit4Diamond Suit2Heart Suit10Heart Suit to see the pocket pair hold up. Haxton earned $1,224,800 as the fourth-place finisher. This was his 26th final-table finish of the year. With 9,911 POY points, seven titles, and more than $15.8 million in to-date POY earnings, Haxton sits in second place in the POY standings. His $48,629,544 in career earnings is good for eighth on the all-time money list.

Smith, who had placed third in two previous million-dollar buy-in tournaments, ended up with the same finish this time around. Smith raised to 800,000 from the button AHeart Suit4Diamond Suit, leaving himself just 25,000 behind. Mosbock raised all-in with KClub Suit7Club Suit from the big blind and Smith made the call. A QClub Suit10Heart Suit7Diamond Suit5Spade SuitKDiamond Suit runout gave Mosbock two pair and the pot. Smith earned $2,806,750 for his latest podium showing in a seven-figure event, growing his career earnings to $52,868,731. That’s good for sixth on poker’s money list.

Heads-up play got underway with Mosbock holding 10,325,000 to Badziakouski’s 6,675,000. The balance of power soon shifted dramatically. Just four hands into the match the two played an all-in pot that saw Badziakouski double into a sizable lead. It began with him limping from the button with 8Club Suit6Club Suitfor 150,000 total. Mosbock raised to 1,050,000 from the big blind with ADiamond Suit5Spade Suit and the flop came down AHeart Suit9Spade Suit7Diamond Suit.

Mario MosbockMosbock checked his top pair and Badziakouski checked his open-ended straight draw. The 5Heart Suit on the turn improved Mosbock to aces and fives. He bet 1,400,000 and Badziakouski, who had turned a nine-high straight, just called. The KSpade Suit completed the board and Mosbock moved all-in, having Badziakouski’s 3,975,000 covered. A quick call saw Badziakouski take more than a 3:1 lead.

Mosbock managed one double up, but was soon all-in and at risk again. Badziakouski limped for 150,000 with ADiamond Suit9Spade Suit and Mosbock raised to 600,000 in the big blind holding KClub SuitJDiamond Suit. Badziakouski reraised to enough to put Mosbock all-in for his last 3,825,000. Mosbock made the call and the board ran out 10Diamond Suit10Club Suit8Club Suit8Heart Suit4Heart Suit to lock up the pot for Badziakouski’s tens and eights with an ace kicker.

Mosbock earned $4,663,950 as the runner-up. This was his second multi-million score of the year, having placed second in the $200,000 Triton Monte Carlo Invitational for just shy of $2.7 million in October. The former professional soccer player from Austria now has nearly $9.7 million in recorded tournament earnings.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 Mikita Badziakouski $7,114,500 240
2 Mario Mosbock $4,663,950 200
3 Dan Smith $2,806,750 160
4 Isaac Haxton $1,224,800 120

Photo credits: WPT / Drew Amato.